PEPIJN VAN DIJK

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“Your own reality—for yourself, not for others.” Thinking for yourself means finding yourself, finding your own reality. Here’s the other problem with Facebook and Twitter and even The New York Times. When you expose yourself to those things, especially in the constant way that people do now—older people as well as younger people—you are continuously bombarding yourself with a stream of other people’s thoughts. You are marinating yourself in the conventional wisdom…. Read More

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; . . . who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who… Read More

Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, is doing things his own way. He’s running the company differently from his famous predecessors, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, transforming not just the business strategy but the culture at Microsoft. And it works, according to this great Fast Company article.

De dictator van Equatoriaal-Guinea, Teodoro Obiag Nguema Mlbasogo, woont in een paleis met 100 kamers vol Renaissancekunst terwijl twee derde van zijn volk honger lijdt, Fidel Castro is vooral bezig met hoe hij en zijn geweer op de foto komen en ook Johan Cruijff valt uiteindelijk in de valkuil van macht: over het randje gaan, mensen misbruiken en niet meer ‘jezelf zijn’. Een eclectische mix aan directeuren, bestuurders en dictators passeert de… Read More

Being addicted to gambling, murdering your wife and obsessive nail-biting have something in common: they all can be prevented by replacing bad habits with good ones. The simple, but essential insight from this book is that one has to see the habit to be able to change it. This goes for individuals, organizations and societies. Especially organizations may seem to make rational decision based on facts, but instead firms are guided by… Read More

Ik ben een week in zuidwest Macedonië voor de eerste editie van ons initiatief Fronterra. Een van de belangrijke elementen van het Fronterra concept is gezamenlijk eten. Overal ter wereld werkt eten als sociaal smeermiddel. Dat doen wij op relatief kleine schaal, aan tafels met zo’n honderd mensen. De Europese Unie en Macedonië zijn ook in dialoog, zij het op een wat groter en abstractere schaal. Sinds 2005 is Macedonië in gesprek… Read More

Zelfs in de mist is het meer van Ohrid prachtig. Het is mei en dus nog rustig, het toeristenseizoen in Macedonië moet nog beginnen. Corendon vliegt dagelijks rechtstreeks van Amsterdam naar Ohrid en zal de frequentie in de zomermaanden opvoeren. In juli zullen de restaurantjes en cafés ongetwijfeld meer clientèle hebben. Naast een goedkope zonbestemming komen de historische stadjes en mooie natuur steeds vaker voor in de lijstjes van de reisgidsen, niet… Read More

We keep cultivating this mythical image of a strong leader. It’s time for some nuance. A good start would be to make way for women. Men tend to think that they are smarter than women – and this confidence takes them to the top. Yet this hubris says nothing about their real talent for leadership – and is actually responsible for their inevitable fall. Read the whole article “Why do so  many… Read More

This unique 75-year long Harvard research followed more than 700 men from teenager to old age, with one simple goal; to understand what makes them happy and healthy.The short answer is: good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Three lessons can be drawn: 1) social connections ensure a longer life, healthier life. 2) it’s not the number, but the quality of close relationships that matter 3) good relationships protect our brain; memories… Read More

Most important take-away: don’t take ‘experts’ too seriously, especially not the famous ones. They are very prone to looking at the world through the lens of a so-called hedgehog: there is only one truth and reality has to adapt to it. Tetlock has even demonstrated an inversed correlation between fame and accuracy. The more famous the forecaster, the worse his predictions.

Forget Business School, just watch these 10 TED Talks. Some interesting talks on leadership and innovation.

A self-help book that promises magic in all our communication by getting rid of the well known tricks (where to put your hands, how to capture the audience with your eyes etc), and have the guts to show yourself and convey a genuine message. Bas Mouton has formulated 9 rules, ranging from “give compliments to a critical audience” to “show why this message is important to you”. From these we learn that… Read More

Simplification is not necessarily a form of stupidity – it can be a form of intelligence. Even of brilliance. Simple rules are, simply put, rules of thumb. And simple rules are applicable to almost every area. They do three things very well: Confer flexibility to pursue new opportunities while maintaining some consistency Can produce better decisions Allow members of a community to synchronize their activities with one another on the fly. Think… Read More

Without bringing surprising new insights, this books makes a compelling case for achieving more by doing less. ‘Less but better’, clarity and focus as guiding principles for a good life. A real ‘essentialist’ knows to set priorities, to say ‘no’ more than he says ‘yes’ – in order to perform better, to have more impact in the areas where he has a real value add. It goes without saying that this is a… Read More

I had expected more insights and surprising lessons from the Dutch management book of the year 2007. The book stresses the importance of creativity, inspiration and how to have more fun in your job as manager and leader, by breaking through the barriers set by big corporates, the with-coming expectations and the limitations of working in an office environment. It’s probably a sign of the times that advocating such values has become… Read More

With millions of copies sold this management classic has taught managers all over the world how to run their business and how to go from a good to a great company. There are some really valuable concepts in it (as the hedgehog principle and type-5 leaders), but reading it a decade and a half after publication also shows the flaws this kind of books have: they are a great way to learn lessons… Read More

Brilliant. If I had to choose one book to take with me to a deserted island, this is the one. It’s insightful, erudite, innovative (at least to me). It took me a while to read, because every single page is interesting and makes one think. For example; we all suffer from focusing illusion: nothing in life is as important as you think it is when you are thinking about it. Chew on it… Read More

A present form a friend who believes I’m in desperate need of focus. Though I think a permanent focus is an overrated asset, structuring priorities and getting things done is the number one motivator. This book is a helpful summary of the many management books on the topic.

Wonderful little book that eclipses all management books in explaining that the power of imagination and inspiration can take us anywhere. Zander’s speeches are a delight, using his passion for music (he is a conductor) to convey his message.